"The ministry of preaching is the central labor of my life. My prayer is that through that ministry and everything else I do the great glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ would be magnified as more and more people come to live out the obedience of faith more and more deeply."
John Stephen Piper was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Bill and Ruth Piper January 11, 1946. When John and his older sister were still small the Pipers moved to Greenville, South Carolina where John spent the rest of his growing-up years. His father was an itinerant evangelist who is still actively ministering through international radio and Bible courses. John has written a tribute to his mother, who died in 1974, in the booklet, "What's the Difference" (Crossway Books, 1990) which is also chapter one of the book, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Crossway Books, 1991).
At Wheaton College (1964-68), John majored in Literature and minored in Philosophy. Studying Romantic Literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated the poetic side of his nature and today he regularly writes poems to celebrate special family occasions as well as composing story-poems (based on the life of a Biblical character) for his congregation during the four weeks of Advent each year. At Wheaton John also met Noel Henry whom he married 1968.
Following college he completed a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1968-71). While at Fuller, John took as many courses as he could from Dr. Daniel Fuller, the most influential "living" teacher in his life. Through Dr. Fuller he discovered the writings of Jonathan Edwards, his most influential "dead" teacher.
John did his doctoral work in New Testament Studies at the University of Munich, Munich, West Germany (1971-74). His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House. Upon completion of his doctorate he went on to teach Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota for six years (1974-80).
In 1980, sensing an irresistible call of the Lord to preach, John became the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he has been ministering ever since. Together with his people, John is dedicated to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.
John and Noel have four sons, a daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.